Both Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund will be motivated to hit back after losing their domestic games this weekend when they will be playing #juventus and Monaco respectively to kick off the Quarter Finals of the UEFA Champions League tonight.
A repeat of the 2015 Final?
#Barcelona lost 2-0 away to Malaga in Primera Division on Saturday, leaving them three points behind leaders Real Madrid with one game more played.
That defeat, in addition to the memory of beating Juventus 3-1 in the 2015 #Champions League Final, will likely help inspire Luis Enrique's men to work for a good result to bring back to Catalonia for the second leg.
Encouraging for the five-times European champions is also the fact that midfielder Ivan Rakitic and defender Gerard Pique will be back in the starting line-up after serving domestic bans. Nevertheless, Barca needs to cope without Sergio Busquets, who is suspended for the first leg of the Quarter Finals. In addition, Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal and Rafinha are all injured.
Juventus have a shorter list of absentees, with winger Marko Pjaca the only noticeable unavailable player for the night. The home side will have an energised defence, with Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Dani Alves all being rested in Saturday's 2-0 win against Chievo.
The trio figure in the starting line-up tonight.
There are also several statistics that point to a Juventus win tonight. They have not lost at home in the Champions League in 17 games, and have won four games in a row in the competition. Barcelona has never won against Juventus in Turin in a European competition. Nevertheless, having in mind the Catalans performance when the sides last met and the deadly threat they have up front in Messi, Suarez and Neymar, Barcelona are fully capable of picking up at least a draw from Italy.
Line-ups Juventus - Barcelona
Juventus (4-2-3-1): Buffon - Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro - Khedira, Marchisio - Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic - Higuain
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen - Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Jordi Alba - Rakitic, Iniesta, areAndre Gomes- Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Fitness worries for Borussia
Borussia are in slight trouble ahead of their meeting with Monaco, which will take place simultaneously with the Juventus - Barcelona game.
Not only did the Bundesliga team get thrashed 4-1 by Bayern Munich at the weekend but the home side also have been struggling with injuries. Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa, midfielder Julian Weigl and defender Lukasz Piszczek were all uncertain ahead of the game, but all just about made the fitness test to be ready to start. The question is if they will be fit enough to cope with the demands of a Champions League Quarter Final. German International Marco Reus is back after a month out due to a hamstring injury but is not deemed fit enough to start tonight. Neither is winger Andre Schürrle.
Monaco seem to be in a better state than the home side. Currently leading French Ligue 1 three points ahead of Paris Saint Germain, the visitors also won this weekend's league game at Angers. Nevertheless, right-back Djibril Sidibe is out due to illness and defensive midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is suspended.
Something that also counts against Monaco is the fact that they will visit a stadium that hosts some of the most celebrated supporters in European football. Dortmund's home advantage should therefore not be underestimated, illustrated by their 4-0 win at home against Benfica in the Champions League Round of 16. They also have a strong attack, led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions this season. He is accompanied by 19-year old French talent Ousmane Dembele. The bookmakers therefore might be right in predicting a home way in this game.
Line-ups Borussia Dortmund - Monaco
Borussia Dortmund (4-1-4-1): Bürki - Piszczek, Papastathopoulos, Bartra, Schmelzer - Weigl - Dembele, Kagawa, Guerreiro - Pulisic - Aubameyang
Monaco (4-4-2): Subasic - Toure, Glik, Jemerson, Mendy - Bernardo Silva, Fabinho, Joao Moutinho, Lemar - Falcao, Mbappe